The Mole Gap in Art and Literature

Along the Mole Gap Trail…

The landscape of the Picturesque and Jane Austen.

As you climb up the hill look back again east towards Box Hill. The view is one captured by John Brett in 1858, a local artist heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement and the writings of John Ruskin. It illustrates a boy breaking flints against the backdrop of the landscape you see.

The Stonebreaker – John Brett — Google Arts & Culture

It is highly detailed and shows the spire of Mickleham church, the railway viaduct and many of the plants and trees associated with the Mole Gap. The painting became closely associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement and now hangs in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Jane Austen set her novel ‘Emma’ in Leatherhead and the Surrey Hills. Thorncroft Manor is thought to be ‘Hartfield’ and Austen’s landscape descriptions in the novel are set within the Mole Gap.